Scott Marks 4:30 p.m., Nov. 25
All Is Lost
Viewers of a certain age may remember Robert Redford as one of the great handsome men of cinema. The sun-kissed skin, the wind-tousled hair, the little-boy smile that let you know he couldn’t lose. Like the title says, all is lost. Disaster rouses an solo yachtsman from comfortable sleep: a drifting shipping container has punched a hole in his boat. Skillful efforts at repair and recovery eventually give way to a grueling struggle to simply survive. The sun blisters, the wind ravages, the face twists and sags. The metaphor — we’re all on a journey, people — is kept mostly in the background, but the lack of dialogue and singular focus make it impossible to miss. (Just about the only time writer-director J.C. Chandor takes the camera off Redford is to give us gradually deepening shots from below the life raft: first minnows, then a school of fish, then predators, and finally, sharks.) 2013.
- "Opening Shot: All Is Lost" • October 31, 2013